You’ve Heard of Blood Diamonds. How About Conflict Minerals?

Many in the U.S. hadn’t heard of “blood diamonds” until the popular film with Leonardo DiCaprio. The mining and sale of diamonds from Sierra Leone, the Congo and other African countries have long financed and fueled war, slavery and unspeakable violence in parts of Africa.

While there is a regulatory system in place that arguably reduces the presence of blood or conflict diamonds in legal commerce streams, what of the other natural resources in the same region? Did you know your cell phone, computer and other electronic devices are all likely made from minerals acquired with the same brutality as conflict diamonds?

Here is a video that can help. Humorous and informative, the actors and activists in it explain what conflict minerals are, how they hurt people, and how a simple pledge to purchase products once they are available without conflict minerals can help draw attention to this problem.

Raise Hope for Congo, the organization that made this video, also has educational materials for individuals and schools that can help in learning about conflict minerals and the situation in the Congo. It also has activist resources for such projects as taking a campus conflict mineral free.

While the content is not appropriate for all ages (at what age do you explain the concept of rape to your kids?), learning about Congo’s present and past can help our children make a safer world for all children – including those in conflict regions.

How do you teach your children how their spending affects people in other parts of the world?